How A Prepaid Card Stops You Getting PayPal Scammed (Like I Was)

Earlier this week I awoke to a bit of a shock, I had been PayPal scammed and my bank emptied.

Some clever bugger had hacked my PayPal account and helped themselves to numerous goodies at my expense as I had my main current account linked to it.

Luckily, we have enough security measures around these days to get your money back.

However, it has been a stress and inconvenience I didn’t need, especially two weeks before Christmas.

But, it all could have been avoided if I’d have linked a prepaid card to my PayPal account instead of my main bank account.

PayPal scammed

What is a prepaid account?

A prepaid account is an alternative to a traditional high street bank account that requires you to load it with money before you can spend.

They come complete with a prepaid card, which acts like a debit card, allowing you to withdraw cash from the ATM, pay in store and online.

With some you can pay direct debits and make one off transfers just like any high street account and there are no credit checks to open one.

How does a prepaid account protect you against cyber theft?

Quite simply, you can only spend what is loaded onto the account.

It eliminates the risk of you racking up any unnecessary debt, or my case someone else doing it for me.

Providing there was no money in my prepaid account, the scammers couldn’t have taken my cash the way they did.

As in this case mine was linked to my main current account, the door was left open for the scammers to spend every penny I had  in it.

Are there charges with a prepaid account?

Usually yes.

I have a PAYG prepaid account with icount Money and it comes with a 2.5% transaction fee – a price I now see is well worth paying to prevent getting PayPal scammed again.

I usually only use it for travel, but I’ve certainly found another use for it now.

Final word

Thankfully I’ll get all my money back, but it has been a week from hell I could have easily avoided.

Going forward I would NEVER link my main current account or credit cards to my PayPal account ever again!

It’s prepaid all the way from now!

Thinking Thrifty

Thinking Thrifty

David Naylor is the editor of the Thinking Thrifty blog. An award winning personal finance and lifestyle blogger, he shows how it is possible to live extremely well for less.
Thinking Thrifty
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